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Drugs reference index «Dihydrocodeine Bitartrate/Phenylephrine Hydrochloride/Guaifenesin»

Dihydrocodeine Bitartrate / Phenylephrine Hydrochloride / Guaifenesin

Pronunciation: (dye-HYE-droe-KOE-deen bye-TAR-trate/FEN-il-EF-rin HYE-droe-KLOR-ide/gwye-FEN-e-sin)Class: Antitussive, Decongestant, Expectorant

Trade Names:Donatuss DC- Syrup dihydrocodeine bitartrate 7.5 mg/phenylephrine hydrochloride 7.5 mg/guaifenesin 50 mg per 5 mL



Stimulates opiate receptors in CNS; also causes suppression of cough.


May enhance output of respiratory tract fluid by reducing adhesiveness and surface tension, enhancing removal of vicious mucus, and making coughs more productive and less frequent.


Stimulates postsynaptic alpha-receptors, resulting in vasoconstriction, which reduces congestion.

Indications and Usage

Temporary relief of nasal congestion and dry, nonproductive cough associated with upper respiratory tract infections and allergies.


Hypersensitivity to dihydrocodeine, codeine, or any component of the product; significant respiratory depression in unmonitored settings or in the absence of resuscitation equipment; acute or bronchial asthma or hypercapnia; paralytic ileus; severe hypertension; severe coronary artery disease; narrow-angle glaucoma; urinary retention; peptic ulcer; pregnancy.

Dosage and Administration

Adults and Children 12 yr of age and older

PO 5 to 10 mL every 4 to 6 h as needed.

Children 6 to younger than 12 yr of age

PO 2.5 to 5 mL every 4 to 6 h as needed.

General Advice

  • Administer without regard to meals. Administer with food if GI upset occurs.
  • A dispensing device (eg, dropper calibrated for age or weight) should be used to administer the drug to a child.
  • Administer with a full glass of water to help loosen mucus in the lungs.


Store at 59° to 86°F.

Drug Interactions

Anticholinergics (eg, atropine, orphenadrine, scopolamine)

Risk of paralytic ileus may be increased.

CNS depressants (eg, alcohol, centrally acting antiemetics, general anesthetics, hypnotics, muscle relaxants, phenothiazines, sedatives, tranquilizers)

May cause increased drowsiness.

Beta-adrenergic blockers, MAOIs

May potentiate the pressor effect of phenylephrine.

Guanethidine, mecamylamine, methyldopa, reserpine, veratrum alkaloids

Hypotensive effects of these agents may be reduced.

Laboratory Test Interactions

May cause color interference with the vanillylmandelic acid test for catechols. Guaifenesin may interfere with the interpretation of the test for urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid.

Adverse Reactions


Flushing; orthostatic hypotension; palpitations.


Confusion; dizziness; drowsiness; fatigue; giddiness; hallucinations; headache; increased irritability or excitement; lassitude; light-headedness; physical/psychological dependence; sedation; vivid dreams.


Pruritus; skin reactions; sweating.


Blurred vision; miosis.


Abdominal pain; anorexia; biliary tract spasm; constipation; diarrhea; dry mouth; indigestion; nausea; vomiting.


Acute renal failure; granulomatous interstitial nephritis; urinary retention.


Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylactic reaction.


Respiratory depression.


Severe narcosis.



Category C .



Excreted in breast milk.




Excreted in breast milk.


Not recommended for children younger than 6 yr of age.


Use with caution; patients 60 years of age and older are more likely to exhibit adverse reactions.

Renal Function

Use with caution and at a reduced dosage.

Hepatic Function

Use with caution.

Special Risk Patients

Use with caution in debilitated patients and those with acute abdominal condition, adrenocortical insufficiency (eg, Addison disease), biliary tract disease (including pancreatitis), circulatory shock, CNS depression, coma, convulsive disorders, delirium tremens, diabetes, fever, head injury, hypertension, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, increased intracranial pressure, increased IOP, ischemic heart disease, obesity myxedema, prostatic hypertrophy, recent GI or urinary tract surgery, toxic psychosis, ulcerative colitis, or urethral structure.


Dihydrocodeine has abuse potential; may be habit forming.


May occur, especially in patients who are volume depleted or who received concurrent therapy with drugs such as phenothiazine or other agents that compromise vasomotor tone. Orthostatic hypotension may occur in ambulatory patients.

Respiratory depression

Occurs more frequently in elderly or debilitated patients, when given in combination with other agents that depress respiration, or after large initial doses in nontolerant patients. Use with caution in patients with COPD, emphysema, kyphoscoliosis, or cor pulmonale, and in patients with substantially decreased respiratory reserve, hypercapnia, hypoxia, or respiratory depression.



Cold and clammy skin, convulsions, CV collapse, extreme somnolence progressing to stupor or coma, pinpoint pupils, respiratory depression, skeletal muscle flaccidity.

Patient Information

  • Advise patient to take prescribed dose every 4 to 6 h as needed.
  • Advise patient to take with food or milk if GI upset occurs.
  • Advise patients to drink extra fluids.
  • Instruct patients or caregiver to obtain and use a dispensing device (eg, dropper calibrated for age or weight) to administer the drug to a child.
  • Advise patient not to adjust the dose without consulting their health care provider.
  • Caution patient that drug may cause drowsiness and to use caution while driving or performing other tasks requiring mental alertness until tolerance is determined.
  • Advise patient to avoid alcohol and other CNS depressants because of risk of excessive sedation.
  • Advise women of childbearing potential who become or are planning to become pregnant to consult their health care provider.

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